01Sprouts Has Great Deals on Organic and Natural Foods
It's all about enabling "healthy living for less." Sprouts Farmers Market is a publicly traded American natural grocery chain with 200+ stores. As a grocery store geek, I was intrigued to visit Sprouts for the first time when they opened nearby.
What first struck off the bat is how cleverly they appeal to mainstream shoppers, packing their newspaper ads with deals and coupons on natural and organic foods. What better way to get bargain-hunting grocery shoppers to give Sprouts a try?
02Private Label House Brands Make Lots of Popular Foods Really Cheap
If you shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, you know that foods branded by the store (private label brands) are nowadays pretty good and often much cheaper than name brands. The Sprouts brand spans from frozen, ready-to-eat meals to packaged cookies at very accessible prices.
Part of the Sprouts Farmers Market mission includes an "unwavering commitment to providing customers with affordable, healthy foods." House brands are the key to doing this, when it comes to packaged foods.
03Sprouts Farmers Market Believes That Healthy Living is a Journey
Sprouts make the journey easy with incredibly cheap sandwiches and freshly made deli food. It's not every day that you see a big $4.99 sandwich. In our parts, sandwiches run more like $8-10.
The day I visited Sprouts Farmers Market in Oakland, California, located near a hospital, I wondered if the hospital cafeteria would see a big drop in customers, given the line of people wearing hospital badges. Yup.
04An Adventure in Gluten Free Eating
The Sprouts market in Oakland has a huge section of refrigerated bakery items, many of them gluten-free. This refrigerated case is at the front of the store, which is a nice sign that they really care about serving people's dietary needs.
05Gourmet Coffee For Under a Dollar
No, you're not seeing things. Sprouts sell cheap coffee that is the perfect way for people to sample the coffee beans they can buy for brewing at home. Or simply to get a good, cheap cup of coffee. What a brilliant service to bring affordable coffee back to the masses!
06Natural Meats Most Butchers Wouldn't Even Carry
A friend who generally follows the paleo diet was seriously impressed to see that Sprouts carries a brand of naturally farmed meat from animals like elk, wild boar, and kangaroo.
I had never seen kangaroo ever in an American supermarket, let alone a relatively mainstream natural grocery store. Nearby, Sprouts has a rack full of paleo and other cookbooks to inspire healthy eating.
07Bulk Foods Priced For Bargain Hunters
The old folks crowded around the 300+ bulk bins and barrels full of nuts, grains, and other bulk items as if they were at a Costco sampling station.
What was all the fuss? The prices were seriously low. Certainly, residents living in this neighborhood had not had access to such low prices on bulk items in recent years, if ever. It was then that I realized Sprouts has the potential to fill food deserts — where residents don't have access to good grocery stores — much as the Daily Table is doing with incredibly cheap packaged foods and meals made with nearly expired foods.
08Sprouts Has All the Popular Organic and Specialty Foods Too
A tall display of jerkies, from new brands to more widespread brands, as well as lots of popular yogurts, chocolate, kombuchas, krauts and other packaged snacks, made it clear that Sprouts is here to not only help us eat healthy meals but more healthy snacks — which is an important trend to address.
09Exotic Meets Old Fashioned Meets Natural at Sprouts
On the store's grand opening day, the store butcher was on hand to proudly answer questions, and staff sampled lots of house-made sausages which were priced at $3.99 per pound. To be clear, those were sausages made on site, as a butcher shop might do.
Along with their charming barn/farmers market style branding, Sprouts is an American-owned chain that really could achieve its mission of setting people on an adventure in good eating.
10Taste Produce Before You Buy
If you've ever wondered about a new fruit or vegetable but not enough to spend money on that, Sprouts has a solution: You can ask to sample produce before buying.
This is brilliant. Consumers will be more willing to buy healthy, fresh foods outside of their comfort zones. They will also know the quality of what they're buying is up to their standards.
Some produce is pre-bagged, some loose. It's all stacked up in cute farm-style bins.
The key to cheap produce prices: Sprouts runs the distribution network and works with vendors and growers to achieve volume that will lead to lower prices.
11Teaching Customers to Fish
It's hard to balance a mission of getting people to want to eat well with making it possible for people with lower incomes to be able to eat well.
Sprouts balance the two very well. Plus they donate unsold food to a local food bank — even helping non-customers eat well.
As you check out, you see signage such as Sprouts' slogan that Every Meal is a Choice. They get other healthy eating messages across in a friendly but not preachy way as you check out and marvel at your low grocery bill.